Healthy Bolognese


I am definitely one of those people who don’t believe in dieting in January. Why would you deprive your body of the energy it needs to battle off colds and flus or go around being hungry in the coldest and darkest months of the year, seems like a winter depression waiting to happen to me.
But lets be honest our bodies have quite possibly been overloaded with to much sugar, saturated fats and alcohol (for some). So I am sure we could all use to cut down a bit on these and add in more vegetables and fibres to our diets.

I made up the recipe kind of by mistake, but it ended up being the most delicious Bolognese we have ever had, so a complete winner.
It isn’t completely healthy, but you are getting a lot of veg in this sauce without really knowing it is there, so the dish is still such a comfort eat on a cold january day.

The trick with this dish is to cut the vegetable so small that they blend in with the size of the meat.

This works as so many varieties, we have made it with both traditional beef, pork, venison, chicken and purely with vegetables, and though I haven’t tasted all the meat once, I have been told they all tasted amazing and my husband is a big fan!
Also this is a great freezer meal. We normally make a huge portion and freeze individual portions for those evenings where you come home really tired and don’t have the energy to cook.

*if you are making this for children as well, you can leave out red wine and chilli flakes, though most of the alcohol will be gone by the time this has been simmering for that long and only the taste will be left.

150g mushrooms
3 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 large leeks or onion
400g minced beef, beef or pork, chicken, aubergine or lentils (or a mix).
250ml stock
1 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato pure
150ml tomato posata
1 tablespoon olive oil
200ml red wine

Chop up all the vegetables super super finely ( we often grate some of the harder vegetables and re-chop them on a chopingbord to get them super fine).

Using a big pot, as this is a one pot dish, start off by frying off the mushrooms in the oil, until they start to brown. Add the leek and cook until they start to soften, then add the rest of the vegetables (and lentils if using) and let them cook for a few minutes until it has all soften a little.

Time to add the meat and cook until they start to brown or just cooked through.

Add the milk and let it cook for a few minutes, then add the red wine and again let it cook for a few minutes. Then just add the rest of the ingredients and once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 3 hours (only 1-2 if doing purely vegetables or lentils).

It might seem like a long time, but trust me, it will be worth it!

I serve with spelt spaghetti, a mix of white or whole or just wholemeal pasta on the days when I’m trying to be really good.